Here’s an easy method of adding more bands to your Shark HF Stick antennas. Thank you Dave, KZ9V, for the tip.
I’ve been using the Shark HF sticks for a couple of years now, they are my preferred antenna for winter time portable operation as I can set them up and get on the air with a minimum of fuss. Once the whips are set for chosen frequency, there really isn’t a whole lot you need to do, just screw the two pieces together, slap a magnet mount on the roof of your vehicle, and you are pretty much on the air.
But they do have a bit of the downside, the 40 and 80 meter sticks are pretty narrow banded, so you have to pick and choose if you want them tuned to the phone or data and cw portions of the band. The sticks are also mono banded, so you need a separate antenna for each band you wish to operate on. But today I’m going to show you a simple trick that can extend your bandwidth or give you multiple bands to operate on.
Dave, KZ9V, shared this simple trick with me. Dave’s always one to find a frugal solution to a problem, so I’m glad to be able to share his simple method here.
When we look at the shark sticks, they comprise two components. The fiberglass section with wire wrapped around it in a coil, and a steel whip. The base creates a set amount of inductance, and you can adjust the whip portion to change the operating frequency within a particular band. Thinking about that, Dave had the idea that if we increase the length of the whip, we can make these antennas resonate on other bands. That’s simple enough.
So with a bit of trial and error, he came up with the lengths necessary to turn the 10 meter shark stick into a 12 meter antenna and the 15 meter shark stick into a 17 meter antenna. To do this all you need is a stiff piece of wire and an alligator clip.
To make the whip extenders, you will need alligator clip and solid wire. Dave uses 14ga solid and I prefer 12ga solid. Both the clips and the wire are available at your local home improvement store. You’ll also need a wire cutters, ruler and soldering iron. To make the 10 meter shark stick resonate on the 12 meter band, you will need approximately 12 ½ inches of wire. To use the 15 meter antenna on the 17 meter band, use about 15.5 inches of wire.
Remove the insulation from the end of the wire and solder it to the alligator clip. There’s no need to remove all the insulation, just the bit for soldering is enough. You can crimp the wire to the alligator clip, but I find soldering a bit more durable.
Alligator Clips: https://amzn.to/3VLG04b
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